2020 Articles

Power Team: Susan Kirn and Natalie Perez, The Donna Kerr Group

“Life is good! I even have it tattooed on my ankle.” —Natalie Perez

“Honestly, life just gets better and better.” —Susan Kirn

NATALIE PEREZ
“I believe everything happens for a reason; we are who we are today because of who we were in the past,” Natalie Perez begins.

Born and raised in Montgomery County, Natalie was brought up by a strong, independent, single mother who taught her the value of work — and love — from an early age.

“One of the most influential experiences in my life, although I didn’t realize it at the time, was when my parents divorced when I was four years old,” Natalie says. “My mom was a stay-at-home mom and had to work full-time, and also went back to college.”

This created an environment in which Natalie learned to become self-reliant. She got her first job at 13 years old and hasn’t stopped working since.

“[My mother] taught me from a young age that there isn’t time to wallow and feel sorry for myself, and to always keep my chin up and constantly move forward in life,” Natalie says.

When Natalie started her real estate career with The Donna Kerr Group, she held several different roles. Eventually, Donna encouraged her to get her real estate license.

“Susan Kirn was her partner, at the time, on the listing side of the company,” Natalie reflects. “Donna had decided she wanted to step back and take on more of a role in the company as a broker, growing the company, marketing, etc. She could see the potential in a partnership with Susan. We complemented each other. Susan is analytical and amiable, whereas I am a driver and expressive. She is the yin to my yang, and vice versa.”

Natalie and Susan have made a powerhouse of a team. They respect each other and the different skill sets that each brings.

“We each have qualities that enhance our relationship and our abilities. Being able to partner with someone who you trust is an incredible feeling. We always have each other’s back,” Natalie smiles.

Natalie is passionate about raising her two sons, who are now 17 and 19. She hopes to inspire the same sense of strength and independence in her sons that her own mother inspired in her all those years ago.

“Being a single mother and showing my boys what hard work can accomplish, and that regardless of how much we struggle at times, in the end, it is worth it, is important because they will be strong men and better prepared for the future.”

“A cool life is doing what you love,” Natalie concludes. “Enjoying every moment of it, being passionate about the people in your life, being true to who you are, and, most importantly, living every day to the fullest — because you never know what tomorrow may bring.”

SUSAN KIRN
As a young person, Susan was a budding environmental enthusiast. She grew up in the country with a love of animals and went on to study biology and environmental science at the University of Pennsylvania.

Susan’s professional career began as a government contractor on superfund sites. She then founded a title company, worked in general contracting, traveled across the country in an RV, lived in an Airstream off-grid in Maine (where she helped build custom homes), and worked in commercial — and eventually residential — real estate.

“At times I have been a tropical fish enthusiast, track athlete, world traveler, herpetology enthusiast, photographer, jewelry maker, ballroom dancer, yogi, motorcycle rider, home improvement guru, and pet-lover of all kinds,” Susan beams.

“I know a huge pivoting point in my life was graduating from college. All the typical things…you have this great degree, but you are inexperienced, uncertain about the future and what I really wanted to do or be,” she continues. “I was very idealistic and just wanted to rebel against all convention. I had always done what was expected of me, and now was my opportunity to create my life. Conventional paths bored me.”

With such an inspired view on life, it’s no wonder Susan has experienced so much. When she returned to Maryland after her stint as a general contractor in Maine, she landed a temp job in real estate. Once she got to witness the inner workings of the real estate world, she was hooked. “I saw what the agents were doing and decided I wanted to do what they did,” Susan says.

Susan was hired as a listing agent with the Donna Kerr Group and transitioned into the lead listing agent and manager of the listing team. When Natalie joined her on the listing team, Susan quickly realized the potential of a powerful partnership due to their complementary personalities and skills.

“Our partnership is great! We have fun together, work effortlessly together and, most importantly, we excel at selling homes.”

At home, Susan lives with her partner, Eric, and his daughter, Zahra. She recently discovered her biological family, after having been adopted through a closed adoption at three months old.

“[I have] no regrets!” Susan exclaims. “Life is too short. I am this person that I love because of all of my experiences in life. I feel that life is complete with its mistakes and successes, and that makes me a resilient and knowledgeable individual with depth and broad perspective.”

“My happiest moment is now because I am alive and well, and I have a wonderful family and life. Life is good.”

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